Yes, that’s right boys and girls. The report that many politco-geeks have been waiting YEARS to read, has finally been released; the Senate Intelligence Committee’s Investigative Report on Pre-War Intelligence About Saddam’s Iraq. We’ve waited FIVE YEARS for clear evidence that Bush lied, and what do we get….(insert Price Is Right style drum roll here):
- A report that is purely political and partisan
- and a report that has nothing to do with Iraq, but looks at Bush Administration officials who had “talks” w Iran before the war, but failed to go through CIA and State Dept channels.
Several things strike me about this investigation, and there will be further pieces describing its findings, but one, single, fact rises above everything else….NO ONE CARES. That’s right, no one cares. There have been so many investigations into WMD and regime ties to Al Queda that now, five years after the invasion…no one cares. When this report came out yesterday, it was mentioned, but it wasn’t the core of any newscast anywhere. No one cared.
Why doesn’t anyone care? I suppose there’s three reasons
Most people have decided that either the pre-war intelligence regardin Saddam’s regime was as weak and badly handled as the pre-911 attack intelligence was, OR they’ve decided that President Bush somehow knew what Saddam himself didn’t know, and still President Bush decided to invaded Iraq despite being omnipotent.
For many people, it’s a horse that’s been beaten enough. The issue is dead already. Why beat it more?
Lastly, it simply doesn’t matter as much today how the US came to invade Iraq. What matters is how the US leaves.
In the end, reading both of the reports released yesterday, I couldn’t find anything that says the President lied. There’s all kinds of indications that statements from Administration officials and the President were as wrong as those made by Democrats in Congress (people like Sen Kerry, Sen Clinton, and even the head of the Sen Intel Committee, Sen Rockefeller). No, this report-like all the other investigations-fails to convict President Bush or his administration of deliberate lying about intelligence. It does, however, convict everyone who claimed Saddam was a threat of making claims which (while often proven true by post-war intelligence) were not supported by pre-war intelligence.
“There is unmistakable evidence that Saddam Hussein is working aggressively to develop nuclear weapons and will likely have nuclear weapons within the next five years … We also should remember we have always underestimated the progress Saddam has made in development of weapons of mass destruction.”
- Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D, WV), Oct 10, 2002
“We know that he has stored secret supplies of biological and chemical weapons throughout his country.”
- Al Gore, Sept. 23, 2002
“In the four years since the inspectors left, intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological weapons stock, his missile delivery capability, and his nuclear program. He has also given aid, comfort, and sanctuary to terrorists, including al Qaeda members … It is clear, however, that if left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will continue to increase his capacity to wage biological and chemical warfare, and will keep trying to develop nuclear weapons.”
- Sen. Hillary Clinton (D, NY), Oct 10, 2002
In October 2001, we picked up warnings that terrorists had acquired a 10-kiloton nuclear bomb. If detonated in New York City, hundreds of thousands of Americans would have died, and most of Manhattan would have been destroyed. Sam Nunn had an important warning, “This intelligence report was judged to be false. But it was never judged to be implausible or impossible.”
-Sen. John Kerry 1/23/03
[note: none of the above pre-war intelligence claims about Saddam's regime were examined in the Senate Intelligence Committee's reports. They were removed from the final "comments" report after Democrats took control of the Senate and the committee two years ago]